US 3259024 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 5, 1966 J. D. KIBBLE ETAL 3,259,024
V MINE ROOF SUPPORT REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS Filed Mafch '2, 1964 v 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 II'OHN D. K\BBLE RONALD 6-. PENN INVENTORS 8 M 19W MW ATTORNEYS July 5, 1966 .1. D. KIBBLE ETAL MINE ROOF SUPPORT REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 2, 1964 m 01 vo/ mo 3 5 mo 30 U U vyo +x o 3,0 mv MW Om v6 v6 v6 Nnw M 4 now JOHN D K\BBLE 1 RONALD c-. PENN INvENTORS A-TToRNHF M I, wow I ma MUN y 1966 J. n. KIBBLE ETAL 3,259,024
MINE ROOF SUPPORT REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS Filed March 2, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 JOHN D. KIBBLE RONALD G. 'PENN 'lNvawToRs BY mm, M Ma y Maw Tro R M E f$ J. D. KIBBLE ETAL MINE ROOF SUPPORT REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS July 5, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 2, 1964 mOE 3,259,024 MINE RGOF SUPPORT REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS John Dunbar Kibble, London, and Ronald George Penn,
Hounslow, Middlesex, England, assignors to Coal Industry (Patents) Limited, London, England Filed Mar. 2, 1964, Ser. No. 348,487 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Mar. 8, 1963, 9,326/ 63 10 Claims. (Cl. 91-1) This invention relates to underground mine roof support remote control systems, and has for its object to provide a simple and relatively inexpensive system for the remote control of roof supports each including a unit advancing ram and a roof support prop arranged in series along a longwall face.
The present invention provides a remote control system for fluid operated support units each including a unit advancing ram and a roof support prop, and arranged in a series wherein the support units are hydraulically interconnected to form two or more groups, the support units in each group being adapted to move in a predetermined sequence, and wherein each group includes a master support unit adapted to initiate, on receipt of a control signal from a remote position, the support unit moving sequence of the group, and means for producing an indication at said remote position that the sequence has been completed.
Preferably each group consists of a small number (approximately 10 or less) of support units and conveniently each of the groups consists of from three to eight support units each provided with hydraulic valves and hydraulic connections and one support unit (the master) provided with hydraulic connections, hydraulic valves, and one or more electro-hydraulic valves. The arrangement is then such that energisation of the master support remotely, say from the face end, or other control position causes the support units of the groups to lower, advance, and reset in turn and automatically. When one group has completed its cycle of operations then the master support unit on the next group is operated from the selected control position. The control system described in our co-pending patent application Serial No. 313,625 is preferably employed for the automatic hydraulic control of the support units other than the master support unit within a group.
Further features of the invention will appear from the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 shows, schematically, the face arrangement of hydraulic and master roof support units,
FIGURE 2 shows, diagrammatically, the hydraulic arrangement of a master support unit,
FIGURE 3 shows, diagrammatically, the hydraulic circuit arrangement of one of the remaining support units,
FIGURE 4 shows, diagrammatically, the hydraulic circuit arrangement of a master support unit of a second embodiment of the invention, and
FIGURE 5 shows, diagrammatically, the hydraulic circuit arrangement of one of the remaining support units of a second embodiment of the invention.
, Referring to FIGURE 1, roof support units 1-8 are arranged in series along a longwall face (not shown) and are connected to the face conveyor by a double acting hydraulic ram in known manner. The units 2 and 7 are provided with electro-hydraulic valves and hydraulic connections in a circuit as shown in FIGURE 2, and the units 1, 3-6, and 8 are provided with hydraulic valves and connections as shown in FIGURE 3. The support unit 7 and the adjacent units 3 to 6 inclusive constitute one group when the support operational sequence is from support 3 to support 7. The support unit United States Patent 0 2 and the adjacent units 3 to 6 constitute a group whenthe support operational sequence is unit 6 to unit 2. In each direction of operation the master unit of a group is the last support unit to be advanced.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, each electro-hydraulic master support unit comprises for example three vertically telescopic hydraulic prop control circuits 20, 21 and 22 arranged in a support frame schematically shown at 220, which frame also comprises a roof bar and a floor bar which are not shown. A double acting ram 24 attaches the frame to the conveyor (not shown in FIGURE 2) and can advance the support frame or push the conveyor relative to the frame. An electro-hydraulic valve 23, controls the conveyor pushing operation and an electrohydraulic valve 25 controls the start of the support unit advancing sequence. These valves are fed from a main pressure line 26. An incoming pilot line 27 connects the support shown in FIGURE 2 to an adjacent support in the sequence this support being shown in FIGURE 3 and an outgoing pilot line 28 connects the support of FIGURE 2 to the last support in the group i.e., connects the unit 2 to the unit 6. The valves 23 and 25 are electrically energised by any convenient electrical control system, for example that described in our co-pending application Serial No. 61,210, now Patent No. 3,126,201. The ram 24 is controlled by a ram control valve 30 of the spool type, which can take up two positions in addition to a neutral centre position. The first position is when its pilot chamber 30a is pressurised from line 27 thereby allowing pressure from line 26 to be applied to line 31 to cause the ram to pull forward and fluid to exhaust from the other side of the ram along line 32 to return line 23. The second position is when pressure is applied via the valve 23 to pilot chamber 3% allowing pressure to be applied from line 26 to line 32 whereby the ram pushes the conveyor forward. The actuation of the prop circuits 20-22 is controlled by a prop release valve 40 which also has two operational positions. The first position is when both pilot chambers 40a and 40b are pressurised or when they are unpressurised, in each of these cases line 41 is blanked off. The second operational position when pressure is applied to pilot chamber 40a causing line 41 to be connected to return line 29 thereby releasing the pressure in the props. Whilst the props are lowered the ram 24 can move the frame 22a towards the conveyor. The ram 24 has a trigger valve 50 which is operated and thus opened when the ram is fully advanced. This allows pressure in the ram to be applied through line 42 to pilot chamber 4%, props 20-22, and pressure switch 44.
The operation of the switch 44 provides an indication or signal that the advancing sequence of the selected group has been completed. If desired, this signal can be used to initiate the advancing sequence of the next group in the support unit system. Six non-return valves 43 are associated with the prop circuitry 20-22 in known manner.
Referring now to FIGURE 3, which illustrates one of the remaining supports 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 of the group other than the master support. This support unit has a ram control valve 60 similarly connected except for the omission of an upper pilot chamber to valve 30 in FIG- URE 2, and a prop release valve 70 similarly connected to valve 40 in FIGURE 2. A trigger valve 68 mounted on the ram 64 performs the function of the trigger valve 50 used in FIGURE 2. In operation of the group of support units 2 to 6 can now be described.
To advance a group of supports, the solenoid start sequence valve 25 is operated by passing a suitable elec-.
tric signal from a control position. The support unit 2 on which this valve 25 is mounted does not move. The operation of the valve 25 causes a pilot pressure to be fed along line 28 to the ram control valve 60 of the support unit 6. The valve 60 operates causing ram 64- to pull and support unit 6 to advance. Prop circuits 61-63 allow the support unit to lower due to application of this pressure to pilot chamber 70a of release valve 7%. At the end of the ram stroke, trigger valve 68 operates and transmits fluid pressure to the pilot port 70b of release valve 70, closing it, and through the six nonreturn valves 43 to prop circuits 61-63. When the prop pressure is sufficiently high, a hydraulic trip valve 80 snaps open and allows pressure to be passed to a pilot line 67 connected with the valve oil of a further support unit as shown in FIGURE 3 to cause this next support unit the unit to operate. This sequence continues through support units 4 and 3. Eventually the electrified support unit, or master unit 2 of the group advances. When the ram 24 is fully advanced a signal indicative of this is obtained from a ram extension transducer 37. In addition the pressure switch 44 provides an indication that the group has completed its advancing movement. Energisation of the solenoid valve 25 is then withdrawn and applied to the master support unit of the next group of support units to be advanced.
In a modification of the invention, shown in FIGURE 4 and 5, there is provision for the sequence of advance to proceed in either direction along the series of support units. The master or electro-hydraulic support unit of each group is as shown in FIGURE 4 and each one of the remaining members of each group are as shown in FIGURE 5. The arrangement of FIGURE 5 resembles that of FIGURE 3 except that the trip valve 80 instead of passing the pilot pressure directly to the next support unit to be advanced, passes it to a director valve" 90 which is spring-loaded to a neutral position and is set to one of its two possible open positions by a pilot pressure from one or other of the two adjacent support units (i.e., either from unit 3 or from unit 5 in the case of unit 4). The ram control valve 60 has two pilot chambers 60b and We and the pilot pressure is applied to one or other of these two chambers according to whether the pilot pressure is supplied from the left or the right.
The support unit shown in FIGURE 4 is similar to that shown in FIGURE 2 except for the addition of a director valve 100 and a relay valve 110. The operation of this two-way sequence control system is similar to that described in connection with FIGURES 2 and 3, but the incoming pilot signal from either direction may initiate advancing by operating the ram control valve 60 through one of its two pilot connections 60b, 600. The incoming pilot signal, arriving, for example, from the left-hand pilot hose 91 (which is connected with the previously operated support unit or the pilot line 123 of a master unit), actuates the valve 60 and also moves the valve member of the director valve 90, from the neutral posi tion, into one valve open position, so that, when the support unit has completed its operations, as shown by the emergence of a pressure signal from the trip valve 80, this signal is directed to the right into the outgoing pilot hose 92 leading to the ingoing pilot hose 91 or 121 of the next unit to be operated. The other outgoing pilot hose 93, leading to the support unit previously operated, is then connected to atmosphere, as are both outgoing pilot hoses when the director valve is in its neutral position, the trip valve 80 output being then blocked at the director valve 99. This means that a hydraulic sequence signal will only be transmitted to the next unit to be advanced when the previous unit has been operated by a pilot signal fed along line 91, and not when said unit has been manually operated, which latter is effected by manual operation of valves 30, 40, 60 and 70 by handles 30d, 40d, 60d and 70d. If the pilot signal arrives from the other direction eg from the right hose 94 the director valve 90 is displaced to its other open position so that the outgoing pilot signal from the trip valve 80 is directed via hose 93 towards the adjacent unit to the left.
In the case of a master support unit such as that shown in FIGURE 4, a pilot pressure signal arriving from the left or the right via hoses 120, 121 respectively can operate an electrified support unit in the same way as intermediate units (ie the support units shown in FIG- URE 5) are operated, and as the master unit goes through its motions information regarding this is transmitted to the control point by both the ram extension transducer 37, and, in turn, a pressure switch 44. There is, however, no transmission of the hydraulic signal to another support unit.
To operate the adjacent support unit to the right, and, sequentially, the other units in that group terminating with the adjacent electrified or master unit, the solenoid valve A is energised. This operates the director valve 10) (which has a slightly different function to the similar valves on the intermediate units). Fluid from line 26 is passed to the outgoing pilot hose 123. On operating the solenoid valve B a hydraulic signal can be sent to the left through the hose 122.
If both solenoid valves A and B are energised together the director valve does not move and no hydraulic signal is sent to the hoses 122, and 123. The solenoid valve outputs act as input and pilot input to a small relay valve which then transmits pilot pressure to the ram control valve 30 (FIGURE 4) causing the ram to push the conveyor. For transmission of pressure through the relay valve 110, it is necessary to have both an input and a pilot input so if only one of these is present then the relay valve either does not operate or when it operates no pressure is present to be onwardly transmitted.
It will be seen that the invention provides a versatile and substantially fully automatic system for the control of roof supports without the complex and expensive necessity of providing for electrical control of each support unit.
1. A mine roof support system comprising a plurality of fluid operated mine roof support units each having at least one fluid extensible prop and being arranged at spaced intervals along a mineral face for operation in at least two separate successive groups of support units each group being operated according to predetermined group sequence and including a master support unit connected in series with said master support unit and at least one slave support unit; each said master support unit being connected in parallel to a control unit anchorage means common to all of the support units; at least one fluid operated jack associated with and connected between each support unit and the anchorage means for advancing the associated support unit relative to the mineral face; a fluid pressure supply line for applying operating fluid to the support units and jacks; support unit control means associated with each support and responsive to a control signal for controlling the operational sequence of the associated support unit and its associated jack, said control unit operable from a remote position for each master unit for initiating operation of the support unit control means of the first support unit to be advanced in a group sequence; a control signal connection between each support unit of a group linking the support unit control means of one support unit with the support unit control means of the next support unit to be operated for transmitting a control signal to the next support to initiate operation of same; and means associated with the last support unit to be advanced in each group to provide at said remote position an indication that the group has completed its operational sequence.
2. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim ll, wherein the first control unit includes an e'lectrohydraulic fluid flow control valve for controlling the flow of pressure fluid from the pressure supply line to the support unit control means of said first support uni-t.
3. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising for each master support unit a second control unit operable from said remote position for initiating operation of the jack associated therewith to control the position of the anchorage.
4. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 3 in which the second control unit includes an electrohydraulic fluid flow control valve for controlling the flow of pressure fluid from said pressure supply line to the support unit control means of the associated master unit.
5. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 1, wherein each jack is double acting and has first and second sides, and each support unt control means includes a first selectively operable fluid flow control means for controlling the flow of pressure fluid from the supply line to the jack, the fluid flow control means having a first operational condition in which said first side is subjected to fiuid pressure, and a second operational condition in which said second side is subjected to fluid pressure; a first fluid connection between the first side of the jack and said roof support prop; valve means normally preventing flow of fluid through said first connection; means actuated by the jack, when the jack is in a predetermined operational position, for opening said valve means; a second fluid flow control means for controlling the lowering of the roof support prop and having a rest condition in which the prop is maintained in a raised position and an actuated condition in which the prop is allowed to lower; a second fluid pressure connection between said first jack side and the second control means for applying pressurised fluid to the second control means to urge the latter to its actuated condition, simultaneously with the pressurising of the first jack side; and a further fluid connection connecting the first fluid connection with said second control means for applying support prop pressure to the second control means to urge the latter from the actuated to the rest position after said valve means has been opened.
6. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the first control unit includes an electrohydraulic fluid flow control valve for controlling the flow of pressure from the supply line to the first fluid flow control means.
7. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 5, and further comprising for each master support unit a second control unit operable from said remote position for initiating operation of the jack associated therewith to control the position of the anchorage.
8. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the control signal connection comprises a fluid duct interconnecting the further fluid connection of one support unit with the first fluid pressure control means of the next support unit in the group sequence to be operated, said fluid duct including a normally closed pressure sensitive fluid flow shut-off valve which automatically opens to permit fluid flow when the pressure in the further fluid connection attains a predetermined value.
9. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the indication producing means of the last support unit to be operated in a group sequence comprises a fluid pressure responsive switch, responsive to fluid pressure conditions in the further fluid connection of the support unit control means of the last support unit to be operated in the group sequence.
10. A mine roof support system as claimed in claim 1, wherein each first control unit of each master support unit includes a first remotely operable valve means for controlling the initiation of the support units associated with its own group, and a second remotely operable valve means for controlling the initiation of the support units associated with a further group of support units, the system further comprising means for preselecting which of the first and second valve means is rendered operative on operation of the first control unit and a control connection between the preselecting means and the last support units of the support unit groups to either side of the groups connected with the first and second control valves.
References Cited by the Examiner FOREIGN PATENTS 1,271,386 7/1961 France.
967,164 8/1964 Great Britain.
EDGAR W. GEOGHEGAN, Primary Examiner. SAMUEL LEVINE, Examiner.
P. T. COBRIN, Assistant Examiner.